Connecting The Dots: Helping Your Elementary Schooler Understand Why Easter Matters

Editor’s Note—Because of the coronavirus, Easter will look a little different in 2020. So we’re helping churches and families adjust to this new reality with a newly reimagined Easter Jam resource. You can download this at-home Easter experience for the whole family now!

There’s a familiar scene passed down from generation to generation, and it goes like this:  

Dad commands the wheel, meandering the streets of his childhood stomping grounds. Kids sit in the back, watching and listening as he points out landmark after landmark–each spot paired with its own lengthy tale.  

His enthusiasm grows. Their interest wanes.  

After all, kids can hardly imagine their parents were once children themselves, much less understand why they should care about the building where dad’s Uncle Johnny worked when he was 37.  

Those same blank faces sometimes show up when we talk about Easter with elementary schoolers. How, they might wonder, does a 2,000-year-old story have anything to do with me? 

Just like a dad knows there’s something special about remembering his childhood in the presence of his own children, you know that the death and resurrection of Jesus hold power for each and every one of us today.  

Let’s look at the big message you should convey and how you can best get your point across.  

All You Need is Love: What Elementary Schoolers Gain from the Easter Story 

“The greatest of these is love.”  

That’s not something we made up to sound nice. Jesus Himself said it. Whenever we talk about the lessons and stories found in the Bible, our ultimate goal should be to showcase God’s love.  

And what better story of love than the one we share during the Easter season.

When it comes to elementary students in particular, we have the opportunity to help them learn to trust God’s character. Does He do what He says He will do? Does He really have a heart bent toward His people?  

When an elementary schooler understands that God sent His only Son to die on the cross so she could be forgiven, she begins to get a glimpse of God’s story of redemption–not just 2,000 years ago, but at work in her life today.  

Even better, she sees that Jesus didn’t die just so she could have eternal life. And He didn’t just die. He rose again, and He longs to give her an abundant life now. Jesus wants to help her: 

  • make wise choices.
  • trust Him no matter what.
  • treat others the way they should be treated. 

These character traits matter to elementary students. And the thought that God loves her even though she was mean to her brother yesterday–that He wants to help her be nicer in the future–is a welcome comfort to a kid’s trying to do her best all on her own.  

Use Concrete Examples to Explain an Abstract God. 

Elementary schoolers think like little scientists. They lean into facts, ask lots of questions, and desire solid evidence of what they’re learning.  

Of course, the Easter story doesn’t offer much opportunity for repeats—you’ll need quite the actor to pull that one off!  

Instead, look for concrete examples that prove what a miracle the Easter story truly is. You might, for instance, bring in a potted plant that’s seen some serious neglect and is beyond help.  

Say, “A few weeks ago, this plant was beautiful, with three purple flowers and lots and lots of green leaves. Now it’s pretty much dead. Can anyone think of any ideas for how I might bring it back to life?”  

Explain that no matter how hard you all try, once a plant is gone it’s gone, just like when a person passes away. Talk about how nothing but an all-powerful, all-loving God could bring Jesus back to life.  

Then ask your class, “If He can do that, what else can God do?”

This content was contributed by Phase. Discover all the resources available for your elementary schooler in the Phase store.